Ever since a friend of mine moved to Nashville, I’ve spent a good chunk of time traveling there to visit and hop around Music City and a few people have asked for some food, shopping and mural recommendations. So here is my comprehensive guide to visiting the Athens of the South (a real nickname of Nashville btw!).
Bars on Broadway
Going to the bars on Broadway is like going to Times Square only 1,000x better because it’s just all about roaming the streets and stopping into as many bars as possible to listen to music and drink a beer (or in my case lots of Sutter Home because I’m not a beer girl). Even though Broadway is amazing, you CAN pick the wrong bars to visit. So here are a few of my favorites:
- Tootsie’s: the most classic of classic and you can never go wrong here. There are 3 floors and I recently discovered the top floor and it is now my favorite!
- Nudie’s: a recent favorite. They had my favorite band ever last time I was there and they play country and hip hop and rock and pop. I mean the band sang the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song and then TLC’s No Scrubs. And then I was in love.
- Acme Feed & Seed: this place skews younger on the top floors and they have a really awesome rooftop with great views of Broadway.
- Honky Tonk Central: I always end up here late night because they have a large dance floor and great live music. I would recommend this for any time after 11pm!
- Luke’s 32 Bridge: There are sooooo many stars that have opened bars on Broadway, and I tried going to a few this time around and came back to my old favorite: Luke Bryan’s. I find that the live music is awesome and there is something for everyone. My fave this time was the rooftop band who did just country, but the band in the front bar was playing all sorts of tunes including Backstreet Boys. I’ve also heard the food is good here, but we went to FGL’s place for dinner and I can’t say it was anything special.
- Milk & Honey: come for the biscuits, stay for the champagne mojitos. This place is in the Gulch and across the street from some amazing murals so this is two for one! It’s also near a Pure Barre, Cycle X place, and an Orange Theory. So if you’re someone who likes to work out before you brunch, this is a great location to do that.
- The Flipside: THIS PLACE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. HOPEFULLY, IT OPENS UP AGAIN SOON! one of the most amazing dishes ever loaded tater tots! Topped with a fried egg, avocado, and cheese. I meannnnn! This is in the 12 South neighborhood and is near tons of shopping like Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, which just happens to also be near the “I Believe in Nashville” mural.
- Five Daughters: some of the most inventive donuts I have ever had! And that is saying something. This past time we got one that had an entire pie crust on top! There are multiple locations, but this is definitely a pick up and go kind of place.
- Pinewood Social: come for brunch, stay all day. This place has great coffee, food, cocktails, and a bowling alley. I literally came once with friends and we stayed for 5 hours drinking, eating and bowling. For sure recommend reserving a lane though otherwise, you will wait hours to get one.
- The Mockingbird: Adult Capri Suns, breakfast tots, and a giant breakfast taco. I feel like I don’t need to say more, but I will because this restaurant is owned by a Chicago native so it now holds an even more special place in my heart.
- The Geist: My friend took us here for brunch on their champagne patio and it gave my heart flutters from an interior perspective. So gorgeous inside and out, and the food was great. I really loved the biscuits as well as the cinnamon roll. Honestly, just order the sweet stuff – that’s what really made us swoon!
- HER Bookshop: at some point, you have to hit up East Nashville (because it’s where all the cool people are), and this place is a must if you consider yourself a feminist. The bookstore focuses mainly on selling female-focused novels and highlighting female authors, and also has things like women in power playing cards and bundles of books you can buy that are curated by the store owners!
- Draper James: Reese Witherspoon’s store in the 12South area is a must-stop even if you aren’t into gingham and pink. The store itself is cute and usually has sweet tea to give to their window shoppers.
- White’s Mercantile: quirky general store in 12South! All the cute things! Go!
- imogene + willie: tons of jeans and lots of things for the dude in your life too. Not that I have one, but I hear people travel with boys sometimes. Also in 12South. If you didn’t get it by now, 12South has all the shopping including a Goop pop-up shop!
- ABLE: my literal new obsession. This store is in the Nations so it’s kind of a hike, but so worth it, because all the goods are made by women who have overcome extreme adversity and extraordinary circumstances like human trafficking and abuse. And the goods are of really high quality and so beautiful. I have a ring from there that I am obsessed with.
- Elle Gray: cute little boutique in Sylvan Park. The owner was really sweet and the clothes are super cute and reasonably priced. I also wanted every piece of local jewelry.
- Shoppes on Fatherland: Shopping, restaurants, nail salons, pilates. This little open-air shopping market has it all. It’s in East Nashville so you def get a hipster vibe. Do not miss these shops in particular btw: Gift Horse, Whiskey Water, and Project 615.
- Finnley’s: very cute boutique in 12South area right next to Bartaco. I found plus-size stuff here, which is very rare!
- Shops at Porter East: Another great row of shopping in East Nashville. Stop by Apple & Oak for home decor and fun gifts, Lucaya Clothing for the cutest accessories, and Amelia Styles for Parisian styles.